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Emirates flight grounded after `terror` call, couple detained

Last Updated: Monday, February 8, 2010 - 00:30

Mumbai: A Dubai-bound Emirates flight with
356 passengers and crew on board was today grounded here for
about four hours here after an anonymous telephone call
shortly before its take off that there was a `terrorist`
onboard.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the call was a
hoax, a police official said, amid high drama at the airport.
The plane departed following security clearance from
investigating agencies after remaining grounded for about four
hours.

A businessman and his wife travelling on the plane were
detained for questioning by police.

"Emirates Airlines flight EK 505 Mumbai-Dubai was
grounded this morning after we received a call claiming that
one of the passengers Shahbaz Khan was a terrorist," a Mumbai
International Airport (MIAL) spokesperson said.

The city police is on the look-out for Amjad, the son of
Shahbaz Khan.

"Shahbaz and his wife are continuously stating that
their son Amjad must have made the call as they are embroiled
in a property dispute," a senior police official said.

The anonymous call to the cargo supervisor of the
Emirates flight by a man identifying himself as Suresh Chavan
has been traced to suburban Andheri. According to the Police,
the caller said he overheard from someone that Shahbaz was an
"Al-Qaeda" terrorist.

"We are searching for Amjad to ascertain his location in
the morning when the call was received," the officer said.

All the 356 passengers including crew on board were
deplaned and rigorous searches were conducted.

"Shahbaz and his wife were handed over to the local
police for questioning after which the aircraft was cleared
for take-off. The flight took off at 1404 hours," the
spokesperson said.

PTI

First Published: Monday, February 8, 2010 - 00:30
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